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MetaFolkloreFilter

Ring Around the Rosie: Metafolklore, Rhyme and Reason "After all, the story [of Ring Around the Rosie's plague origins] is itself folklore: a tale that was passed on by word of mouth first, then in writing and online media. And because it is also about folklore, folklorists classify it as 'metafolklore': folklore about folklore."
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy on Aug 8, 2014 - 10 comments

Draculas? Draculae? Draculii?

The gals at Anglo-Filles have an entertaining (and epicly long) talk about the history of Dracula and vampires as characters and symbols throughout the ages and throughout fiction - topics discussed include Varney The Vampire, The Vienna Vampire Scare, Where Does Sunlight Killing Vampires Come From, The Secret Spanish Dracula, and Jonathan Harker As An Abuse Survivor.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 24, 2014 - 30 comments

The Writing on the Wall

Papyrus Turin 55001 is code for "the erotic papyrus." Then there's the 2,500-year-old erotic graffiti from Greece, with a rude claim about who did what where. If you're amid graffiti of a more recent vintage -- specifically that of the American public restroom -- you might want to consult "Here I Sit -- A Study of American Latrinalia" (.pdf) by Alan Dundes (obit, previously). Good reading!
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 9, 2014 - 8 comments

"None of this is going to matter"

Landon "Dadhacker" Dyer reminisces about Patching the Newton: "How do you fix bugs in a ROM, if you can’t change the image?"
The patches live in the battery protected low-power RAM of the Newton, and they’re theoretically immortal as long as power holds out. This is why the battery compartment has a wacky mechanical locking system meant to discourage people from simultaneously removing both the main and the backup batteries. It’s a byzantine contraption of sliders and buttons molded in Holy Shit Yellow, and it’s meant to scare people into being cautious.
[more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 4, 2014 - 16 comments

Superstitious Scots

When the Song Dies
In Scotland, folk songs serve as memories, of places and the dead who once inhabited them. Exploring the theme of change, When the Song Dies seeks to bring the audience under the captive spell of the old ways. Featuring a range of contributors, the film is a poignant reminder that the dead linger on, all around us, in the houses and landscapes we live in, and in the language and music of our culture. Whilst Scottishness is at the heart of the film, this story is as universal as it is specific. It is the story of a culture that is, like so many, in danger of fading from human memory.
A 15-minute film directed by Jamie Chambers.
posted by Lezzles on Feb 4, 2014 - 5 comments

A History of Horror, a personal journey of horror films with Mark Gatiss

"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 28, 2014 - 17 comments

Just for a second, honestly

Japanese folklore and horror stories are known for their psychologically terrifying ghosts and monsters that prey on the minds and bodies of humans. But there’s also a lighter side to Japanese folklore, where bumbling spirits cause only mild annoyance, actually enhance your daily life, and otherwise generally botch the whole job of haunting mankind and teaching vague moral lessons about treating your parents with respect and such. 8 Hilariously Nonthreatening Monsters from Japanese Folklore
posted by timshel on Jan 28, 2014 - 44 comments

Crowdsourcing the Uncanny

"With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear" - How creepypasta is reinventing folklore, via io9.
posted by Artw on Jan 6, 2014 - 135 comments

And A Gun Named Rose Red

"I did not see the appeal of a wife. We had never had one before. She would not be half as interesting as our buffalo." Read a lengthy excerpt from Catherynne Valente's Six-Gun Snow White, an adaptation of the Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 709 fairy tale as a campfire story set in the American west.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 20, 2013 - 19 comments

Twiggy Mac

Many of the Macintosh team members gathered Wednesday, September 11 2013 to play with one of the original “Twiggy Mac” prototypes still in running condition. Quick, Hide In This Closet!
posted by unliteral on Oct 23, 2013 - 23 comments

The Old Ways

A History of British Folk Horror
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2013 - 62 comments

Martin Behaim + Philip Jeck = Yuri Suzuki

The Sound of the Earth is sound artist Yuri Suzuki's spherical record project, modeled after a topographic globe of the Earth. The grooves represent the outlines of each geographic landmass. Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound. As the needle passes over, it plays field recordings collected by Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years: traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Aug 11, 2013 - 2 comments

Lion, scarecrow, tin man... mine demon?

The song is a catchy summer jam by British producer Naughty Boy, which topped the charts in the UK and Italy (though got little airplay in the US). The video, shot in Bolivia by British director Ian Pons Jewell, is a little more complicated: for 90% of viewers, it's a pretty obvious (if rather bizarre) urban retelling of the Wizard of Oz. For the rare viewer acquainted with Bolivian folklore, however, the video is a bit more: a retelling of a traditional folktale about a deaf boy with an abusive stepfather who sacrifices himself to stop a demon who rules over silver mines... [more inside]
posted by Itaxpica on Aug 5, 2013 - 3 comments

The Western Lands

How the Western Was Lost (and Why it Matters)
posted by Artw on Jul 29, 2013 - 226 comments

Pen Ultimate

In an idle moment, you've probably drummed on a desk with your pen. But chances are middle schoolers could show you some skills. Masters like Shane Bang and many less well-known practitioners are pushing the old idea of pen-as-drumstick - Pen Beats, aka Pen Tap - to new heights. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 11, 2013 - 18 comments

Old People Wearing Vegetation

Old People Wearing Vegetation. Seniors from Norway and Finland (NSFW) model wearable art made of plants, in Eyes as Big as Plates. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Mar 25, 2013 - 9 comments

I believe, I believe my time ain’t long...

“Dust My Broom”: The Story of a Song
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 2, 2013 - 13 comments

Born Digital Folklore

"Its not like we all sat in silence and stared blankly at our TVs waiting for the Internet to show up. We have probably always had vernacular webs of communication." Digital studies scholar Robert Glenn Howard talks about vaccines, the Christian right [PDF], AC/DC guitar tutorials and other "born-digital folklore" on the "vernacular web."
posted by Miko on Feb 25, 2013 - 13 comments

Kindness killed, just as surely as the huntsman's knife

Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 27, 2012 - 53 comments

There's a frog in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza

A frog in the milk bucket keeps the fungus away?
posted by curious nu on Dec 19, 2012 - 32 comments

Dead Bears - A Photographic Collection

"Dead Bears" is a photographic collection by artist Michael Fortune documenting the regional Irish habit of erecting stuff animals wearing local Gaelic sporting colours as territorial markers. [more inside]
posted by distorte on Nov 18, 2012 - 12 comments

"One thing about living in New England I never could stomach, all the damn vampires."

Ever heard of the Jewett City Vampires? Sure, you know about Salem and its witches, but New Englanders also went through several vampire panics that come far closer to the present than any Salem shenanigans. But who were the real people behind the modern legends? One common thread in the American myths: Tuberculosis (PDF).
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Sep 25, 2012 - 9 comments

Illustrated Aesop's Fables through history

Historical versions of Aesop's fables - text and pictures - collected by Laura Gibbs. She gives thousands of historic texts in English, Latin, and Greek, but even better, has Flickr sets of the historic illustrations (that page is sorted by artist) from editions by Rackham, Caldecott, and other artists going back to the 1400s. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Aug 30, 2012 - 11 comments

Gingerbread House

"There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls. It’s been many years since any child was taken. But still, on nights like these, when the wind comes cold from Tsibeya, mothers hold their daughters tight and warn them not to stray too far from home. “Be back before dark,” they whisper. “The trees are hungry tonight.” Tor.com brings us some short horror/fairy tale fiction from Leigh Bardugo, "The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale."
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2012 - 29 comments

Peasant culture and Russian folklore in Soviet animation.

Peasant culture and Russian folklore in Soviet animation (~400 minutes whereof): Soviet animation abounds in fantasies about the natural, wholesome lives of honorable, strong-willed Russian peasants and folk heroes and their struggles against villainy and adversity. Decorated with splendid folk art motifs that verge on horror vacui, these cel-animated cartoons are excellent aids for learning about (popular conceptions of) Russian folk material culture: decoration, architecture, dress, weaponry, textiles, domestic culture, manners, and so on. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on May 4, 2012 - 13 comments

And With Every Step Pain

A visually inventive, super-stylized, 27 minute Soviet cartoon telling of The Little Mermaid / Rusalochka from 1968.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 8, 2012 - 15 comments

The wizard under the hill

Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen trilogy is to be concluded with Boneland, over 50 years after it started.
posted by Artw on Mar 16, 2012 - 30 comments

Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox

A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 30, 2012 - 39 comments

Kist o Riches Indeed

Tobar an Dualchais will keep you busy for awhile. It's a collection of over 26,000 oral recordings made in Scotland, from the 1930s onward. Folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, oh my. Includes some fascinating material from Belle Stewart, the McPake Sisters of Peebles and John the Bard.
posted by RedEmma on Jan 14, 2012 - 5 comments

The Aarne-Thompson Classification System

Originally published by Finnish forkloristAntti Aarne and expanded by American Stith Thompson and German Hans-Jörg Uther, the Aarne-Thompson Classification System is a system for classifying folktales based on motifs. [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Oct 10, 2011 - 13 comments

wear dogwood like it’s yo’ bling

Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths is a more sober, Chinese-centric version of Myths RETOLD (previously).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 9, 2011 - 14 comments

Stetson Kennedy

Stetson Kennedy died yesterday at 94. The folklorist and writer was best known for infiltrating and exposing the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, increasing public resistance to the organization and helping lead to the revocation of their national charter. Kennedy revealed details of the KKK to writers of the popular radio show "Superman," giving the Man of Steel a new postwar enemy through 16 episodes of the series "Superman vs. the Klan". [more inside]
posted by Miko on Aug 28, 2011 - 30 comments

Into the woods...

Whitestone Motion Pictures presents Blood On My Name, a short musical film in the style of Americana folklore. [more inside]
posted by starvingartist on May 3, 2011 - 2 comments

The Vanishing Art of the Dip

The mark strolls along a city sidewalk, fresh out of the bank, his wallet in his back pocket, blithely unaware that he's stumbled into the clutches of a practiced jug troupe. Slate's Joe Keohane mourns the dying art of picking pockets. [more inside]
posted by steambadger on Feb 25, 2011 - 58 comments

Party On, Weird America

The American Festivals Project takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded 2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video, and a blog, discover Rattlesnake Roundup, Okie noodling, an American Fasnacht, the Idiotarod, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 17, 2011 - 23 comments

Octopus II: The Revenge.

Come for the Homicide, Stay for the Top Secret Beam-Weaponry Research: The daughter of a man killed along with two others in a slaying some link to the murder of Octopus researcher Danny Casolaro digs into the Web's conspiracy subculture; creates an elaborate online persona; succeeds, nearly thirty years after the murder, in tracking down a suspect via the Web; and then gets him arrested, put in orange jumpers, and hauled into court. Then, on the day of the hearing, Something Happens...
posted by darth_tedious on Feb 8, 2011 - 72 comments

They see you when you're sleeping

This Christmas Eve spare a thought for the Chrildren of Iceland, who will be suffering a traumatising visit from Kertasníkir, or "Candle Beggar", the thirteenth and final of the strange and somewhat sinister Icelandic Santas, or Yule lads, who are the childre of the ogress Gryla. Most of them don't seem to care if you've been bad or good - mainly they want to steal your food and wreck stuff. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Dec 24, 2010 - 27 comments

Scary Sketches to Glimpse in the Dark

Nearly three decades ago, folklorist Alvin Schwartz published Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first of three horror anthologies that would go on to become the single most challenged book series of the 1990s. But most of the backlash was against not the stories themselves (which were fairly tame), but rather the illustrations of artist Stephen Gammell. His bizarre, grotesque, nightmarish black-and-white inkscapes suffused every page with an eerie, unsettling menace. Sadly, the series has since been re-issued with new illustrations by Brett Helquist, of A Series of Unfortunate Events fame. Luckily for fans of Gammell's dark vision, copies of the old artwork abound online, including in these three image galleries: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. Interested in revisiting the stories themselves? Then don't miss the virtual re-enactments of YouTube user MoonRaven09, or the dramatic readings of fellow YouTuber daMeatHook.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 29, 2010 - 48 comments

Mother Leeds' Spawn, Geotagged

Mapping the Jersey Devil
posted by Miko on Oct 28, 2010 - 26 comments

Campfire Stories (Spoiler: Her head falls off)

It's October, a fine time to learn some spooky stories to tell while you're gathered around a campfire.
posted by Wolfdog on Oct 11, 2010 - 12 comments

Take a Little Trip and See

American Ethnography Quasi-Weekly is a somewhat gonzo cabinet of curiosities -- a mix of photography, academic essay, archival materials, and bloggy postings on "outlaw aethetics" and outsider culture, presenting glimpses of American subcultures past and present, from Califormia low-riders to "hoochy-coochy" dancers to blackface tambourine jugglers, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 11, 2010 - 8 comments

Green Children of Woolpit

The 12th-century English chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall relates a strange story: two lost and distressed children appeared in a local village, speaking a language no-one could understand, and, most strikingly, with strangely green-coloured skin. [more inside]
posted by Catseye on May 16, 2010 - 41 comments

The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley

The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley is a "compilation derived from a collection of folkloric stories recorded with children from the Moyross and St. Marys Park areas of Limerick City between 2004 and 2005. The work serves to highlight how folklore is constantly added to, and how it is linked to memory and occasion, fiction and interpretation."
posted by minifigs on Mar 23, 2010 - 12 comments

Death of a singular composer

Argentine folklore composer, pianist and director Ariel Ramírez died last night after a long illness. Those who know of him abroad probably do so for his Misa Criolla. This is just the (deservedly famous) tip of a giant iceberg of Argentine music, as he was teacher to many, collaborator to a lot more, cataloguer and promoter of traditional folk music and dances, and defender of local composers rights since his early years of fame. [more inside]
posted by Iosephus on Feb 19, 2010 - 6 comments

Voices from the Days of Slavery

"If I thought, had any idea, that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and just end it all right away." Audio recordings from interviews with former slaves, conducted by WPA folklorists and others, including the Lomaxes and Zora Neale Hurston. Only these twenty-six audio recordings of people formerly enslaved in the antebellum American South have ever been found.
posted by Miko on Feb 7, 2010 - 16 comments

Local Knowledge

In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 5, 2010 - 7 comments

Rhymes with ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay.

Playground Jungle: The "folk process" in the subversive songs, rhymes, stories and jokes you told when the teacher wasn't around. Visit the whole (growing) collection via the index of first lines.
posted by nebulawindphone on Jan 13, 2010 - 101 comments

Plow Monday, Historic and Updated

On January 11, 2010, Canon David Parrott blessed laptop computers and mobile phones during the Plow Monday service at St Lawrence Jewry Church in the City of London. Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year, and the Church was involved with blessing of tools for the coming year. Before it was involved with church services, Plough Monday was a time for folk plays and dancing (associated with other Mummers plays), with regional variations. Some new Molly Dancers have revived the traditions, complete with plow. There were also races to see who would start their work the earliest, to show their readiness to commence the labors of the year. So sing out now and walk your plough (or play a ring tone on your mobile phone). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Namahage (生剥)

Namahage (生剥) is a Japanese ritual which is observed throughout Oga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture in northern Honshū, Japan. It is saidto have originated as a ritual for cleansing people's souls, and for blessing the new year. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jan 1, 2010 - 35 comments

Jewish Exorcisms

“We got a bit excited because we realized that people have collected lots of dybbuk stories, but our fragment describes a real event, where you see how they come together and pray in order to exorcise the ghost from a widow,” [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Dec 21, 2009 - 11 comments

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